Police warn about unlicensed contractors

Posted at 8:35 AM, Jan 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-11 13:36:07-05

CAPE CORAL, Fla. -- Cape Coral Police are giving a word of caution about unlicensed contractors in the wake of Saturday evenings devastating tornado in Cape Coral.

Numerous homes have extensive damage after the storm, but you may want to be extra careful about who your hire as you start making repairs.

Cape Coral Police spokesperson Dana Coston says this drastic damage has been contractors out of the area wanting to help.  But he says you may want to be extra careful with who you hire.  "We really want to drill home to people that they should not under any circumstances use an unlicensed contractor to do any sort of repairs."

Sgt. Coston says it's important to make sure anyone you hire is licensed, bonded and insured.  "The last thing we want is for people to be victimized twice by a predatory contractor or scam artist who's coming in trying to make an insurance claim against the homeowner and say that they were injured while doing any repair for them."

You can always check out someone's business license to find out if they're licensed, bonded and insured...just go to to get started.

Police say here are some helpful tips for spotting unlicensed contractors:

  • Be aware of "special" deals or "this is good only for today". 
  • Most contractors will not go door to door looking for business.
  • Ask for names and addresses of previous customers.
  • They may ask for partial or full payment up front without doing any work.  Most companies will collect payment when then the work is completed or during stages of the process.
  • Contractors must have State and Local license to work in the City of Cape Coral.  The license number must be on the work vehicles and contracts they provide to their customers.
  • Consumers can check to see if the contractor is licensed or not. 
  • Citizens can also call 239-574-0432 which is the licensing division at City Hall to verify City and State licensing for contractors.